Tracker Pixel for Entry

Xanadu: The Musical

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Theatre | June 28th, 2018

Design by Raul Gomez

By Tayler Klimek
tklimek@cord.edu

Get ready to dive into a world full of demi-gods, mythological creatures, and plenty of disco balls when you see Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater’s exciting first show of its 72nd season: “Xanadu.” Take a ride through the life of a struggling artist and watch as a goddess helps him find the key to his happiness, discover true love, and create the world’s first roller disco. This is one show the whole family can enjoy!

Based on the infamous cult-classic movie with stars Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, “Xanadu” brings you the absurd and delightful story of a struggling young artist inspired to follow his dreams.

“This show can best be described as wacky, but in a very fun and good way,” Hardy Koenig, director of “Xanadu” and head of the theatre department at NDSU, said.

“The musical opened in 2007 and pretty much had a great time making fun of the movie, adding songs, and taking the characters and plot to a fantastic live theatre extreme.”

This 80s movie was nominated for a handful of Tony awards including Best Musical, and was performed recently as a musical on Broadway.

“It’s very tongue-in-cheek, witty, hilarious, and it adds in lots of pop culture references,” Adam Pankow, artistic director of FMCT productions, said. “This is just a very fun, very wacky, zany musical on roller skates.”

What’s unique about this show is the size of the cast and ages involved. “We have only nine actors who play lots of roles and move from character to character, sometimes with not much time in between,” Koenig said.

This show is not a kid’s production, as the FMCT summer shows typically are.

Xanadu cast

“This is actually the first show in a long time that FMCT has ever done something other than a youth production in the summer,” Pankow said. “This is an adult cast, so we’ve got a lot of younger adults and some older folks that are involved in the cast, crew and orchestra.”

The show in general is unique in its nature, and while it isn’t a super well-known piece to most, the musical score involved should be recognizable to some.

“It has a really delightful score by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), so it has a lot of their big hits as part of it: Evil Woman and Strange Magic to name a few,” Pankow said. “It’s just a little something different from what we’ve normally done on our stage, and we’re trying to make our space a lot busier and have something for all kinds of ages and interests, so this summer production is part of it.”

Every show has its challenges, but the challenges of this show have been particularly fun according to Pankow and Koenig.

“From my stance as the artistic director and the one coordinating all the pieces of production, there are interesting things like trying to find roller skates for a cast of nine people – those old, vintage roller skates for the roller disco part at the end of the show,” Pankow said.

There’s also the very wacky challenge of creating various props and mythological creatures, such as a Pegasus, centaur, and Medusa head, which audience members will see on stage throughout the show.

“We’ve been pulling all the stops and figuring it out, but we are trying to get a collection of disco balls for the finale, so by the end of this we’ll have over a dozen disco balls that we’ve collected and acquired,” Pankow said. “It all sounds super absurd, but all of the challenges for this show are so fun.”

Really tight harmonies, energetic choreography, and thick, off-the-top comedy will be coming at you strong in this unique show, and rehearsals are in full swing at this time.

“Working with this amazing cast and crew has been the most fun about this show,” Koenig said. “I know everyone always says that, but this is really true. Each member brings something to the mix that no one else could bring.”

Camille Federowich is the choreographer for the show, guiding the crew with their roller skate dancing; Karen Hamilton is the music director for this cast of powerhouse voices; and Aimee Klein is the pianist and pit director, fearlessly leading the orchestra through this thrilling musical score.

“Just listening to that music, humor, and comedy coming from the stage during rehearsals, I’ve a hard time concentrating on my work in the office; I just really want to be in there,” Pankow said.

While construction is underway on 4th Street in Fargo, FMCT and its parking lots are still accessible through construction on 4th Street from the north side. So if you’re ready for the throwback of legwarmers, tall socks, and headbands, be sure to snag a ticket or twelve to catch this hilarious, dynamic musical by visiting fmct.org or calling the office at (701) 235-6778.

IF YOU GO: 

Public Performances: July 11 – 14 | 7:30 p.m., July 15 | 2:00 p.m.

The Stage at Island Park

Tickets: Adults: $21Seniors / Students: $15

Run Time: Approximately 90 minutes

Recently in:

News

Women in Bad Lands

by C.S. Hagen

THE BADLANDS – “I just want to flip the proverbial bird to North Dakota as I leave,” Sarah Gulenchyn said. She took a last drag off her American Spirit – burned quick to the filter – before stamping it out. The door to…

Culture

Fire!

by Ryan Janke

In a remote area along the Sheyenne River just southeast of Sheldon, North Dakota lies a sleepy patch of land that comes to life this week as the High Plains Regional Rendezvous kicks off this Saturday.The rendezvous is a week-long…

Thursday, June 20, 6:30 p.m.Zandbroz Variety, 420 N Broadway, FargoNDSU Press and Zandbroz Variety are teaming up for an author event you won’t want to miss. The author event features Denise K. Lajimodiere and the launch of her…

I think Steve Earle described the current state of pop country music best when he said, “The best stuff coming out of Nashville is all by women except for Chris Stapleton," he said. "The guys just wanna sing about getting f***ed…

Gadfly

​American Prophet

by Ed Raymond

Bob Dylan: “You Better Start Swimmin’ Or You’ll Sink Like A Stone”I was shocked when Hibbing native Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. I think he was, too. I had always enjoyed his songs as great…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

All About Food

It’s date night!

by HPR Contributor

By Seng Phengdouangdethsengphengdouangdeth@gmail.comAs things are finally starting to warm up in the region, it’s time to kick that delivery habit you’ve developed all winter long and take your main squeeze out somewhere with…

When asked to describe the sound of Green Blue, Minneapolis based musician Annie Sparrows formerly of the Soviettes and Awesome Snakes laughed and said, “Our friend came up to me after a show and he said ‘Do you like Belle and…

Martin Scorsese embraces the prankster spirit of a longtime inspiration/subject in “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story.” The confounding testimony is as much mockumentary as documentary, combining new interviews and…

You may have seen Nicki Marie slingin’ her elaborately folded paper star creations at various craft and cultural festivals around the region. She was also a recipient of a folk art and traditional apprenticeship grant made…

The Cass Act Players will take the stage this weekend to bring “Weather the Storm” to Bonanzaville’s Dawson Hall in West Fargo.“Weather the Storm” is a musical based on the infamous tornado that hit Fargo’s Golden Ridge…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

If you’re from the region you may have sipped, sampled or caught word of a libation often referred to as “red eye” or “wedding whiskey” at some point. In fact some of our friends of German Russia descent swear by it. If…

Wellness

Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

Last Word

The ten year reunion

by HPR Contributor

By Zach Nerpelzachnerpel@gmail.comI was going by “Zach” on this particular evening. Not like I’d go by anything else in any other situation, but tonight it was determined I’d wear a nametag. I showed up to the Fargo Brewing…